Valentine's Day STEM Challenge: "Heavy" Hearts

Grade Levels
2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Product Rating
File Type
Compressed Zip File
Be sure that you have an application to open this file type before downloading and/or purchasing.
How to unzip files.
26.16 MB   |   40+ pages


Looking for a Valentine's Day Activity that incorporates science, technology, engineering, and/or math?

The "M" in this STEM challenge should be an extra-large capital letter, because it is definitely the focus in this 2-D challenge!

The basic premise:
Individually or in partners/small groups, students will design the “heaviest” heart possible.
– Using a criteria/constraints list, students create small hearts of various colors & sizes. Point values are assigned to each color group based on its size. Students arrange various configurations of their smaller hearts inside a large, outer heart in order to create the “heaviest” possible heart. (“Heaviest” is in quotation marks because we are not measuring weight; rather, we are assigning point values to inner hearts.)

This challenge can be run simply (focusing on shape creation & manipulation, measurement, addition, and symmetry), or you can add complexity (focusing on length/width ratios, multiplying & dividing decimals, percent contribution, etc.). Two criteria/constraints lists are provided to highlight either end of the spectrum along with editable versions.


This is one of five Valentine’s Day STEM Challenges. They can be purchased in a bundle at a 33% discount:

Valentine’s Day 5-in-1 STEM Challenge Bundle (2nd – 8th)

This resource is also available in the STEM CHALLENGE YEAR-ROUND MEGA-BUNDLE at an even greater discount!


Benefits of this STEM Design Challenge:
- Focus on critical thinking, problem solving, and application of learning
- High levels of student engagement
- The potential to hit upon all NGSS ETS standards depending on the depth and number of iterations you choose to implement in your classroom (modifications included)
- Highly flexible and differentiated for materials, timing, grade levels, and rigor.

Depending on the complexity you select for the Criteria & Constraints list, each design iteration should be planned for at least 60 - 90 min. if you are including data gathering and analysis rather than just building for fun. If you add extension activities, you will need to adjust timing accordingly. I recommend working on STEM Design Challenges in multiple iterations to get the full value.
Materials you’ll need to do the activity are easily modified.

Sample/suggested materials for each student or group:

– Colored construction or printer paper (3 – 6 sheets)
• Recommended one sheet each of red, pink, and purple per partner/group
– Colored pencils or crayons
– Scissors
– Rulers
– Heart outline copies
– Design analysis handouts
– Optional
• Folders, Ziploc bags, or large envelopes to contain cutouts if using on multiple days.
• Glue (if you want students to glue their final design in place)
• Calculators (for younger students and/or those with special needs)

Product includes:

NGSS aligned standards, Grades 2 – 8

Teacher Tips

- STEM Challenge "How-To" video links
- Challenge walk-through video link
- Materials and timing
- Criteria & Constraints (including modifications to increase difficulty for older students)
- Measuring results
- Post-design extension activities list

Student Handouts
- Outer “Heavy” Heart outline
- Two versions of the Criteria and Constraints list in color and black & white (+ editable versions provided)
- Measure & Record Data directions and recording sheet
- Design Analysis (2-page regular spacing and 4-page expanded spacing for primary students included)
- Discussion Questions

Extension templates
- Process Flow Map
- Task card templates and samples (editable)


You might also like these products:

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge: Flower Frenzy (2nd – 8th)

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge: Cards in the Clouds (2nd – 8th)

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge: Candy / Confection Container (2nd – 8th)

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge: Cupid’s Quiver (2nd – 8th)

Halloween 5-in-1 STEM Challenge Bundle (2nd – 8th)

Valentine’s Day STEM Challenge: Cupid’s Quiver (2nd – 8th)

Thanksgiving 5-in-1 STEM Challenge Bundle (2nd – 8th)

Christmas/Winter 5-in-1 STEM Challenge Bundle (2nd – 8th)

Valentine’s Day Parts of Speech Activity (2nd – 3rd)

Graphing with Skittles Activity (2nd – 3rd)

STEM Challenge: Boat Building (2nd – 8th)

STEM Challenge: Card Towers (2nd – 8th)

Photosynthesis: Hands-on Modeling Activity

Analyze and Interpret Data Unit
Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
90 Minutes

Average Ratings

Overall Quality:
6 ratings
Please log in to post a question.
Digital Download
User Rating: 4.0/4.0
Digital Download
Valentine's Day STEM Challenge: "Heavy" Hearts
Valentine's Day STEM Challenge: "Heavy" Hearts
Valentine's Day STEM Challenge: "Heavy" Hearts
Valentine's Day STEM Challenge: "Heavy" Hearts